Papalote Salsa Enchiladas

 
 
If you’ve been a loyal reader of my blog since the early days, then you may recall my favorite enchilada recipe that I posted last November. You may also recall mention of my favorite salsa that we ate on Cinco de Mayo, which also happens to make an appearance at #47 on this list
 
Well, today is a glorious day because I hereby present to you the consummation of these two favorites…a little something I’m calling {Papalote Salsa Enchiladas}
 
The salsa hails from a burrito shop here in San Francisco, called Papalote. Their burritos are amazing, but the side of chips and salsa they serve alongside pretty much steal the show. This is not your typical salsa. It has kind of a creamy consistency, with a rich tomato flavor. It’s somewhat mild initially, and then you get just the right dose of subtle heat. I don’t know how they make it…I’ve never had any other salsa quite like it…but I love it. 
 
The salsa is so popular, they bottle it up and now sell it in many stores throughout California (online too!). Seriously guys…you gotta try it…oh, and make these enchiladas while you’re at it…
 
 

Papalote Salsa Enchiladas

     Ingredients

  • 1 jar Papalote salsa
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (breast meat)
  • 21/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • half small purple onion, cut into thin rings
  • 3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • salt & pepper

     Directions

  1. Preheat broiler
  2. In a bowl, toss the shredded chicken with 2 cups of Jack Cheese. Very lightly season with salt & pepper.
  3. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel, and warm in the microwave for 1 minute. 
  4. Spoon the chicken/cheese mixture on each of the tortillas, and top with a few cilantro leaves. Roll the tortillas and place seam-side down in a 9×13 inch baking dish. 
  5. Brush the tops of the rolled tortillas with olive oil. Place in the oven and broil until the surface is crispy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, pour the entire jar of salsa over the enchiladas, and top with the remaining Jack cheese. Return to broiler until cheese is bubbly and golden, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven. Garnish with the queso fresco, onion, and remaining cilantro.

     Serves 4 (adapted from a Food Network Magazine recipe)

 
 
PS…you should also go eat at Papalote and try one of their burritos…
they beat Bobby Flay in a burrito throwdown!
 

Mexican Street Tacos

Somehow, growing up in Southern California, I never managed to pick up the Spanish language. No, instead I opted to study the ever so practical language of Latin. It’s always useful to know how to translate the 12 Labors or Hercules, right? (Hmm, not so much).

 

The only Spanish words I  couldn’t help but acquire were the typical necessities. Burrito…enchilada… quesadilla…dos tacos, por favor. In fact, those were the only words I needed to utter at our recent taqueria excursion in Cabo. Here’s my take on recreating those authentic, simple tacos at home…

 

Start with cooked chicken breast (I used store bought rotisserie chicken), and chop the chicken into small bits…

 
 
Heat a large frying pan on high heat. When the pan is hot, add about 2 tablespoons of oil, and then add the chicken.  Let the chicken cook without stirring until it develops a crust. Stir, and let it sit again to continue crisping up. Continue cooking, stirring periodically until most of the chicken is crispy. At the end, add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan to deglaze and stir for about a minute until the water cooks off. What remains are crispy, but moist, chicken bits.
 
 
These street tacos call for a double layer of corn tortillas, just like they do it in Mexico. Heat the tortillas on a large griddle or frying pan, and add the chicken…
 
 
Then, remember all those garnishes I shared with you yesterday? Time to start piling them on.
 
 
They may not be real street tacos, but for condo cooking in the heart of San Francisco,
they come pretty darn close. Add a Corona and you’ll hardly know the difference.
 
Have a great weekend!
 

Chicken Posole

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I wanted to share one of my favorite soup recipes, Chicken Posole!
 
I actually used to eat this soup quite a bit as a kid because my grandma (on my mom’s side) used to make it for us. I sort of forgot about it for a while, until having Green Chile Kitchen’s awesome version a couple year’s ago. It was kind of like that scene in Ratatouille when the snooty food critic finally eats the ratatouille, and all those childhood memories come crashing into him in a split moment.  Yeah, that was me in the middle of Green Chile Kitchen…but I’m no food critic…and there were no rats in the kitchen…
 
I just love a heaping bowl of this soup…it’s so hearty, and yet refreshing (can soup be refreshing?), with all of the yummy fresh garnishes piled on top.
 
 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 15oz. cans hominy, drained
  • 2-3 dried ancho chillies
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 whole garlic clove, 2 minced cloves
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 chicken breast halves (on the bone)
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Salt
  • For garnish, try shredded cabbage, sliced radish, diced avocado, crumbled cotija cheese
Directions
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.
Remove the chili stems, shake out the seeds, and rinse the chilies under water. Add to the boiling water and boil until soft, about 15 minutes (reserve about 1/2 cup of the boiling liquid). Blend the softened chilies and the whole garlic clove in a blender until smooth. (Add some of the reserved liquid, if necessary, to loosen it up). Push the puree through a sieve and set aside.
In a large stock pot, heat oil and saute the diced onion and minced garlic cloves until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken breasts, chicken stock, oregano, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; then lower heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts from the broth and allow to cool. Once cool, remove the meat from the bones and tear into shreds. Return the chicken back into the broth along with the hominy and ancho chili paste. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve with garnishes of your choice.
 
So delicious served up with grilled corn tortillas!
 
PS…love you and miss you Grandma!  Hope you’re reading Serving Seconds up in heaven